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MS Queen Victoria (QV) is a cruise ship in the Cunard Line fleet, named after Queen Victoria.

The Queen Victoria is of the same basic design as other Vista class passenger vessels, though slightly longer and more in keeping with Cunard's interior style. At 90,000 gross ton, she is the second largest Cunard ship ever built, after the RMS Queen Mary 2. The QV's facilities include seven restaurants, thirteen bar, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theatre.


The Queen Victoria is the running mate to the Queen Mary 2 and, in the future, the new Queen Elizabeth. Until November 2008, she also operated alongside Queen Elizabeth 2. Unlike many previous Cunard Queens, however, Queen Victoria is a is not an ocean liner as she does not have the heavy plating, high freeboard and propulsion system of a liner but is outfitted as a cruise ship. However Ian McNaught, her captain in 2009, has stated that Queen Victoria is a liner based on her classic decor. Queen Victoria does not carry mail and thus will not receive Royal Mail Ship (RMS) status.

Some ship aficionados have criticised Cunard for naming this ship as a Queen; the designation having previously been reserved for the line's ocean liners and flagships (Queen Marymarker, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth 2, and Queen Mary 2). It has been suggested that the Queen Victoria should have borne the name of one of Cunard's previous smaller ships, such as the , or , as was done with the last , which served Cunard between 1999 and 2004.


Concept and construction

Originally destined to be an addition to the Holland America Line fleet, the order for a Vista class vessel put into Fincantieri was soon transferred by Carnival Corporation & plc (parent company to Holland America, Cunard, and P&O) to Cunard with the intent that the vessel would become the MS Queen Victoria. The keel was laid down at the Fincantieri ship yard in 2003. However, due to restructuring within Carnival Corp., as well as a later decision by Cunard that modifications should be made to the design to bring in certain aspects which had proven successful on the Queen Mary 2 (such as decor, junior suites, dining alternatives, promenades, etc.), the hull was then designated to become the P&O ship MS Arcadia. A new Queen Victoria was subsequently ordered with Fincantieri in 2004, which was 11 metres longer, 5,000 tons larger, and with an increased passenger capacity of 2,000.

Her keel was laid on 12 May 2006. 80 prefabricated steel "blocks", each complete with interior structure, cabling, and ducts, and each weighing 325 tons, were then added. The completed hull and superstructure was floated out on 15 January 2007, after having a bottle of Prosecco smashed against her side by Maureen Ryan, a Cunard employee who has served on all four Cunard Queens. The ceremony also saw the traditional placing of coins on the mast - in this case a Euro and a gold Queen Victoria sovereign were welded beneath the radar mast.

The QV left the Port of Venicemarker on 24 August 2007 to commence her sea trials, and, after handover to Cunard, arrived in Southampton to much fanfare and media attention on 7 December; much of the coverage focused on the ship's superlatives, the QV being touted as "Cunard's most luxurious ship." The same day, the ship was officially named by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, continuing the tradition of Cunard Queens being named by members of the Royal Family. However, the bottle of champagne did not break upon impact with the QV's hull, though a backup bottle was immediately successful.
Queen Victoria in her home port with QM2 passing her.
QE2 can be seen in the dock behind the Victoria.

Service history

Captain Paul Wright was appointed master of the Queen Victoria in October, 2006.

The QV undertook her maiden voyage, a 10 day cruise to northern Europe, on 11 December 2007. Following this, and after a cruise to the Canary Islandsmarker, the QV embarked on her first world cruise, circumnavigating the globe in 107 days (the first ship to do so was also called Victoria; in 1,153 days from 1519 to 1522). The first leg of this voyage was a tandem crossing of the Atlanticmarker with the , to New York Citymarker, where the two ships met the Queen Mary 2 near the Statue of Libertymarker on 13 January 2008, with a celebratory fireworks display; this marked the first time three Cunard Queens have been present in the same location. Cunard purported this to also be the only time these three particular ships would ever meet, due to the QE2's impending retirement from service in late 2008, though the ships did meet again in Southampton on 22 April 2008, due to a change in the QE2's schedule.

In May 2008, the QV hit a pier in Maltamarker after her thrusters failed to work. However, the damage was minimal, allowing the ship to continue operating, but repairs meant she would have to miss a port of call in La Goulettemarker.



Queen Victoria at Southampton's City Cruise Terminal
Queen Victoria at Circular Quay, Sydney
Queen Victoria travelling through Fjord in Norway
The Queen Victoria's exterior design closely resembles Vista class ships built for Holland America Line and P&O Cruises, like the , with a wrap-around promenade deck, private balconies, and a retractable glass magrodome over the mid-ship pool.


As with most newbuild passenger ships, the Queen Victoria's public rooms are mostly arranged along the lowest public decks of the ship, mainly on 2 Deck and 3 Deck. Unlike the Queen Mary 2, however, there is no central circulation access, the main corridors being to the starboard side, with the public rooms mostly along the port.

1 Deck, the lowest passenger deck, holds the lowest level of a three story lobby, as well as of the Royal Court theatre. On 2 Deck can be found the mid-level of the Royal Court theatre, casino, Golden Lion Pub, Queen's Room, Todd English à la carte restaurant, Chart Room bar, and lower level of both the library and Britannia restaurant. The top most level of the theatre, Royal Arcade, Midships Lounge, and upper level of the library and dining room are all on 3 Deck, along with a wrap-around exterior promenade. The decks above these contain mostly passenger cabins until 9 Deck on which is the Cunard health club and spa, Winter Garden lounge, Lido Restaurant, and two outdoor pools. On 10 Deck is the Commodore Club, and Hemispheres night club, and the Queen's Grill and Princess Grill, along with their attached lounge, as well as an open courtyard between, are on 11 Deck.

Though QV is theoretically a classless ship, it has been argued that the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2, both of which follow the same practice of separating passengers into different restaurants based on the price of the cabin they booked (the Britannia as standard for regular cabins, the Princess Grill as middle for those in junior suites, and the Queen's Grill as superior for deluxe suite occupants), are actually ships divided into three classes, despite the fact that all other public rooms are used by all passengers equally. Though this situation is similar on the QE2 and QM2, it is further enhanced on the QV by the fact that Grill Passengers (those dining in the Princess Grill or Queen's Grill) also have two private outdoor areas on decks 10 and 11 with the specific name "Grills Terrace", a feature which also appears on the QM2 at the aft section of deck 10.

Of note is that the QV's theatre is the first at sea to have private boxes. As well, she has a Winter Garden lounge with a retractable glass roof and water fountain, and a two story library with a connecting spiral staircase.


Power plant and propulsion system

The Queen Victoria can carry 3,000 tons of heavy fuel and 150 tons of marine gas oil, consuming 12 tons per hour for maximum output. Although the ship burns heavy fuel, it uses low-sulphur fuel in certain jurisdictions. In October 2009, Queen Victoria's captain, Ian McNaught, stormed out of a press conference in Halifax, Nova Scotiamarker when asked about the ship's environmental standards.


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